The Second Greatest Tennis Match Ever: Roger Federer Makes History

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The Second Greatest Tennis Match Ever: Roger Federer Makes History
(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Yesterday, Roger Federer became the first tennis player to win 15 Grand Slam titles after he defeated Andy Roddick in the men's Wimbledon final.

The match, which lasted four hours and 16 minutes, was a sheer battle of wills, as Federer beat Roddick 16-14 in the final set. He also regained his No. 1 ranking in the world, which he lost to Rafael Nadal after last year's defeat on that same court.

I have never been much for tennis. I never really understood the way the games were scored with the whole LOVE-15 or deuce. LOVE stood for the other player having no points; LOVE is the last word I think could ever describe having no points.

A few years ago, while I was on vacation in Florida, Wimbledon was going on, and I happened to catch some of it. I was really impressed with how fast the players served, and I got my first look at the Williams' sisters, Andy Roddick, and Roger Federer. I wasn't hooked, but my interest was definitely peaked.

Last year, I watched that epic Wimbledon men's final of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The game started at 9 AM, and went into the darkness after being delayed a few times by rain. It was a match up of the best of the best, and it didn't disappoint at all.

For someone who didn't even like tennis, I was glued to the TV or constantly running to check on the score. That's usually only something I do with baseball or football, but there I was, completely engrossed in this amazing tennis match.

When all was said and done, the championship trophy was in the hands of Rafael Nadal, and Federer lost his number one ranking in the world. As always, Federer handled defeat with grace and gave Nadal all the credit for playing such a great match.

Still, it was obvious that the 14-time Grand Slam champion, was not satisfied with second place.

This year, he advanced to the finals again, but this time was playing American Andy Roddick, whom he had beaten 14 times in their previous match-ups. Everyone expected Roddick to go down fairly easily against Federer, but Andy Roddick had other ideas.

Roddick has always been an extremely talented tennis player. He holds the world record for the fastest serves, but he has never been able to beat Federer when it really counted. He lost to him in the men's final back in 2005, and now had to face his nemesis once more.

The Andy Roddick that showed up for Wimbledon 2009, was different than the guy that had showed up in the past. Roddick is known for his temper tantrums on the court and always being the guy with a protest, but this year that wasn't the case.

He hired a new coach, dropped around 15 pounds, and worked harder than ever before to improve his game. That is why he was able to last so long against Federer; even though he looked like he was working a lot harder than Federer, he wasn't taking the match lying down.

Despite his impressive effort, Roddick lost at the hands of Federer. You could see the pain, disappointment, and frustration on his face as he accepted the silver plate that is given to the second place winner. He fought to hold back his tears as Roger Federer kissed his championship trophy.

Federer credited Roddick on playing a great match, and then thanked Pete Sampras, the former holder of the record for the most Grand Slam championships. Sampras flew from California to be there for the final match, his first appearance at Wimbledon since his final match in 2002.

While the 2008 men's Wimbledon final will probably go down as one of the greatest matches of all time, the 2009 men's Wimbledon final is going to rank pretty close to it.

Everyone expected Federer and Nadal to put on a great show, but people got a lot more from Andy Roddick than they expected. Combine that with watching the great Roger Federer do what he does so well, it's definitely a toss up between the two.

It's amazing how sports can pull people in. While tennis is by no means by favorite sport, I now thoroughly enjoy watching Wimbledon and the US Open—especially when Roger Federer is playing.

Sometimes it just takes one thing to grab your attention and make you realize what you've been missing out. I can definitely say that I'm glad to have opened my mind to tennis, because for the second year in a row, I got to witness true athletic greatness.

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